Sabtu, 30 April 2016

INDONESIA, MALAYSIA STEP UP INVESTMENT COOPERATION

 By Andi Abdussalam
      Jakarta, April 30 (Antara) - Indonesia and Malaysia have agreed to increase cooperation in the plantation and fishery sectors and to attract foreign direct investment to ASEAN countries, particularly to Indonesia and Malaysia.
         Malaysia became the second-largest investing country in Indonesia after Singapore last year. Therefore, the Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) offered Malaysia investment opportunities in the plantation and fishery sectors.
         "Malaysian investment in Indonesia increased rapidly, registering a growth of 73 percent in 2015, compared to that in the previous year," BKPM Chief Franky Sibarani noted on the sidelines of an Indonesian-Malaysian investment forum in Kuala Lumpur on Friday.
         The BKPM chief encouraged Malaysian plantation companies to expand their business not only in the oil palm plantation but also in the agricultural processing industry.
         "Investors are interested in the development of oil palm plantation in Indonesia but they have to follow Agriculture Minister Decree No. 26/2007 which sets the maximum acreage at 100 thousand hectares," Franky stated.

Jumat, 29 April 2016

INDONESIA TO LURE TOURISTS FROM UAE

 By Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, April 29 (Antara) - Indonesia is trying to attract foreign tourists from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as it anticipates that tourist arrivals from Malaysia may drop in the coming month of fasting.
         The Tourism Ministry has predicted that the number of tourist arrivals from Malaysia will drop by about 10 to 15 percent as Malaysians do not prefer to travel during the fasting months.  
    Therefore, the government is cooperating with Qatar's national flag carrier, Qatar Airways, to increase the frequency of flights to Indonesian tourist destinations.

         It also established cooperation with Emirates Airlines to increase the frequency of direct flights from the United Arab Emirates to tourism destinations, such as Jakarta, Surabaya (East Java), Denpasar (Bali), and Lombok (West Nusa Tenggara).
         Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said on Thursday that he recently visited Dubai to promote the country's Halal Tourism Destinations and its visa-free policy that is designed to lure tourists from Dubai to visit Indonesia.

Kamis, 28 April 2016

POLICY PACKAGE INCREASES EASE OF BUSINESS IN INDONESIA

By Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, April 28 (Antara) - After unveiling its 11th  economic policy package late last month, the government on Thursday announced again the 12th tranche of the package aiming at increasing the ease of doing business in Indonesia.
         "This is a big and important package with a wide scope," Chief Economic Minister Darmin Nasution said at the State Palace following the announcement of the new policy by President Joko Widodo(Jokowi)  in Jakarta on Thursday.
         President Jokowi  announced the twelfth tranche of the economic policy package regarding the ease of starting new small and medium business (SMEs) undertakings.
         The policy package is part of the nine-point development program (Nawacita), which mandates the country to become a self-reliant and competitive nation, the president said.  
    Through this policy package, the government will make every effort to simplify procedures, cut fees and shorten the settlement of several aspects, including the ease of starting new businesses, application for building construction permits, property registration, electricity donation, and access banking loans, he stated. 
    This policy package may have a more significant impact and improve the ease of doing business, he said.


Rabu, 27 April 2016

FISHERMEN NEED PROTECTION

 By Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, April 28 (Antara)  - Fishermen who are key players in providing fish protein for the nation need to be developed and protected so that they could increase production and improve welfare.
         Fishermen protection has been regulated in Law on Protection of Fishermen, Cultured Fish Breeders and Salt Farmers. About seven million fishermen who live in the coastal areas in the country still remain poor.
        "The government should draft Government Regulations (PP) and bylaws to ensure the on-field implementation of the law in line with the people's aspirations," lawmaker Akmal Pasluddin  said in Jakarta on Tuesday.
         The fishermen should also be covered with an insurance scheme. The fishermen's insurance is one of the priority programs of the Marine and Fisheries Ministry (KKP) in its efforts to boost the prosperity of fishermen and to protect some one million of them in Indonesia.
         However, based on data at the KKP, only 715 thousand Indonesians held fishermen ID cards. Possessing a fisherman's ID card and being covered under the development of the Marine Affairs and Fisheries Service is one of the prerequisites to becoming a holder of the fishermen's insurance policy.

Senin, 25 April 2016

INDONESIA EXPECTS ASSET REPATRIATION OF RP560 TRILLION

 By Andi Abdussalam
           Jakarta, April 25 (Antara)  The Indonesian government is now submitting to the House a tax amnesty bill which, according to the country's central bank, Bank Indonesia (BI), could facilitate the repatriation of about Rp560 trillion of assets stacked abroad so far.
         The House of Representatives (DPR) will likely finish deliberations on the bill by the end of next month (May). If endorsed into law and implemented, about 60 percent of assets worth Rp3,147 trillion could be eligible for tax amnesty or pardon.
         The Global Financial Integrity 2015 data showed funds belonging to Indonesians stashed abroad totaled Rp3,147 trillion. However, not all of the amount could get tax amnesty.
         According to BI Governor Agus Martowardojo,  only about 60 percent of the total funds abroad could be pardoned based on the tax amnesty scheme.
         The remaining 40 percent could not receive the tax amnesty facility because the funds were gathered through illegal sources, such as corruption, narcotics trade and human trafficking.

Sabtu, 23 April 2016

"WONDERFUL INDONESIA" ECHOES IN VARIOUS COUNTRIES

By Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, April 23 (Antara) - Indonesia is currently introducing its tourism potential through "Wonderful Indonesia," a campaign it is promoting in many countries, such as Montenegro, China, Monaco and the United Arab Emirates.
        In Monaco, the Indonesia Pavilion was voted 'Best Participant' by the organizers of the 25th International Tourism Exchange and Tourism Fair and Equipment for Hotels & Catering (METUBES) Fair which was held from April 21 to 23 in Budva, Montenegro.
        Through the Indonesian Embassy in Belgrade, the "Wonderful Indonesia" brand was promoted and Indonesia became the first Asian country to become a partner of the event.
        The Indonesian Embassy in Belgrade informed in a statement received in Jakarta on Saturday that Indonesian Ambassador to Montenegro, Harry  Kandou, is working to strengthen relations between both nations.
        One of the steps aimed at fostering relations between Indonesia and Montenegro is the participation in the METUBES Fair.
        Indonesia's presence in Montenegro is not merely to attract tourists but also to boost business-to-business cooperation in the field of tourism. "The Indonesian Pavilion sprawled over I63 square meters promotes the "Wonderful Indonesia" tourism program with a focus on the maritime sector.

HOUSE EXPECTED TO FINISH TAX AMNESTY DEBATE IN MAY

By Andi Abdussalam
         Jakarta, April 23 (Antara) - The government hopes that the House of Representatives (DPR) will wrap up deliberations in May of the tax amnesty bill which has been in parliament since it was submitted by the government last year.
         The DPR should keep its promise to finish deliberating on the tax amnesty bill by the end of May 2016, Vice President Jusuf Kalla said. The debate on the bill was previously expected to be wrapped up by parliament last January.
         It would be impossible to finish the debates during this current sitting period of the parliamentary session which will end on April 29, Chairman of the Commission XI on financial affairs of the DPR, Ahmadi Noor Supit said.
         "I think we could rush to finish it before the draft revision of the state budget (APBNP) is passed into law. Hopefully we could do it end of May," Supit said after a meeting with Vice President Jusuf Kalla in Jakarta Wednesday (April 20).
         The government needs to introduce a tax amnesty law in an effort to withdraw or repatriate big funds or assets stacked overseas. The repatriation of funds so far stashed abroad will increase the number of new taxpayers and raise the state revenues from tax receipts.